Breaking Down: Thanksgiving Meals

Classic Thanksgiving Menu and Recipes

For centuries, Thanksgiving has been a holiday most commonly celebrated with food. Large amounts of it. As time has gone on, people have brought their own unique innovations into the holiday, and the food is what makes it special. But now, as obesity rates skyrocket, can we afford to continue making these unhealthy choices? Read on to see how we can improve our diets every time we eat a Thanksgiving meal.

Some of the staple items at a Thanksgiving table are the following: a roasted turkey, a pumpkin pie, mashed potatoes, gravy, cranberry sauce, and a sweet potato casserole. Other items that could be served include different meats, such as ham and chicken. There are also many vegetable based dishes.

A 3 ounce serving of turkey contains 173 calories, over 5 grams of fat, and over 20 grams of protein. Turkey is also high in vitamins and minerals. This doesn’t seem unhealthy, but the portion size of turkey is often over the recommended 3 ounces, and the grams of fat keep on piling up. The pumpkin pie is the next item that needs to be broken down. Check yesterday’s fast fact about pumpkin pie for further information on this iconic dessert. A 5 ounce serving of pumpkin pie contains 323 calories, 13 grams of fat, 46 grams of carbohydrates, 35 milligrams of cholesterol, and 318 milligrams of sodium. If you thought the unseasoned turkey was unhealthy, then this is unacceptable. And most people eat multiple slices of pie, thinking “It’s only once a year…”. If you want to take it even further, with the third of the Holy Trinity in Thanksgiving food, let’s take a look at mashed potatoes with gravy. A 10 ounce serving of mashed potatoes contains 265 calories, 20 grams of fat, 1143 milligrams of sodium, and 42 grams of carbohydrates. Mashed potatoes are among some of the worst food items to overeat. The sodium and carbohydrates build up and are the biggest factors to blame for heartburn.

A Thanksgiving meal is not to blame for what this holiday has turned into. The lack of portion control for each item individually has caused the holiday to be known for gaining weight and making unhealthy choices. As the holiday continues to be innovated, there are healthier recipes everywhere. Be encouraged to try them out. Stay healthy!

Intro to Irrigation Around the World

Why All Farms Don't Use Drip Irrigation - Water Footprint Calculator

Irrigation has been around since 6000 BC. It was developed by farmers who had reached the maximum capacity around lakes and rivers. Irrigation is the transportation of the supply of water that contributes to crop growth. In the early days, irrigation was quite similar to a plumbing system, as the water was designed to go around the city and reach all the places it had to, just for the excess to feed back into the ocean.

Since then, irrigation has greatly developed. In the early days of development, people learned how to use dams to control the water flow into one exact place. Then, canals were built all around the cities to have a larger water flow all over the city. These were the basic developments, and they are both still used to an extent in modern day. As time progressed, and goods were able to be transported more efficiently, people could start using the best materials for the job. In more modern history, metal pipes were starting to be used. All these developments were extremely meaningful, and farmers were able to be much more productive.

The reason why irrigation came to existence in the first place was to make farming more efficient and accessible, which would cause more plants and crops being grown each season. Now, there are huge facilities who focus on mass producing plants and vegetables however they can. Now that you have the basic summary of irrigation, keep an eye out for a new blog about how big companies are using it to their advantage.

The 77 Cent Big Mac

File:McDonald's 1960 logo.png - Wikimedia Commons

The Big Mac is a burger which has been discussed on this blog before. A few revelations have been made about the burger, and there continue to be discoveries and innovations in this subject. As McDonald’s gets richer as a company, the prices go up, and the production cost for most of their food items go down. This results in a huge profit margin.

When the restaurants started selling Big Macs, it was already 1967, well after Ray Kroc took over the company. The Big Mac was priced at $0.45, which is over $3 in current day money. It took almost $0.30 to produce a Big Mac, which is $2. Since then, the prices have gone down in production and up in the retail price. The Big Mac has gotten bigger itself, but the production cost is now a whopping $0.77! They sell it for $4 in most places, but the average price around the world is just over $5.50 USD.

There is one more figure, which is the most startling yet. It was discovered by a home cook, Jim James, that if you make a Big Mac at home, buying all the ingredients separately and what McDonald’s claims that their burger has, it would add up to $6.63. This is almost 9 times the price that McDonald’s produces their burgers with. This figure could be summed up by saying McDonald’s is buying their products in bulk, but when their expenses are only 11.6% the price of buying all the ingredients separately, anyone can see that something fraudulent is going on.

Breaking Down: Chipotle’s New Protein Option

Chipotle takes up smoked brisket | 2020-11-30 | MEAT+POULTRY

During late September, Chipotle locations around the United States started offering a new meat option; Smoked Brisket. After testing around Ohio and California for almost two years, the message was broadcasted. Chipotle would be changing their protein options, for the first time since Carne Asada.

CMO Chris Brandt says, “We’ve created a differentiated Smoked Brisket recipe that is authentic to our menu and pairs flawlessly with our real ingredients,”. Smoked Brisket is the third innovation that the fast food giant has released this year, along with Cilantro-Lime Cauliflower Rice, and a Hand-Crafted Quesadilla.

Most critics have a positive opinion on the Smoked Brisket, but when you look at the nutrition information, you’ll be able to decide for yourself whether this is a smart protein option. A serving of smoked brisket totals to 360 calories, crushing the two most common protein options; chicken at 180 calories, and steak at 150 calories. 22 grams of protein puts it just above steak, which tallies in at 21 grams. The 5 grams of sugar come from the brisket sauce. The most surprising fact in your Chipotle brisket journey is the 27 grams of fat in one serving. For comparison, a serving of steak contains only 6 grams. Eating a burrito with Smoked Brisket takes up over 60% of your Daily Value of fat. The 27 grams of fat is the deciding factor in whether a consumer decides to go with the brisket or not.

At the end of the day, unhealthy and fatty meats are okay to eat in moderation. Fats are essential for body growth throughout your life, but remember to stick to the healthier fats. Stay healthy!

Breaking Down: Big Mac

The Big Mac is the most popular burger in the world. Each year, 550 million of these burgers are produced and consumed. In this post, the true value of the Big Mac will be discovered. Read on.

The Big Mac is a large burger, weighing in at 225 grams. It contains 2 beef patties, 3 buns, a slice of American cheese, pickles, onions, lettuce, and Big Mac sauce. This burger is high in fats and sodium, taking up half of your suggested daily value! It’s 11 grams of saturated fat is 53% of your daily value, along with the 1010 milligrams of sodium, which is almost 30% of your daily value. There are decent levels of iron, weighing in at 4.4 mg. There is almost no nutritional value, though there are small amounts of calcium, potassium, and fiber.

At McDonald’s, the retail price of a Big Mac is $3.99, which is a low price for a burger. There are other factors to calculate, such as methods used to get the ingredients, the preservatives and chemicals in the food, and the general advisory not to consume these burgers regularly, buying this burger is a slight of a dilemma. At the end of the day, you need to decide between a healthier lifestyle, or saving a few bucks on a burger. Stay healthy!

Advertising Towards Children

TV Screen Time Exceeds 3 Hours for Babies: JAMA Study | Fortune

Have you ever been scrolling through the internet and come across an ad for fast food? Well this is highly likely. A recent government directed experiment has told us that 44% of the ads we see on a daily basis are related to or promoting consumption of fast food. This number is already a very big number, but it will be outrageous once you find out why.

Yum! Brands is listed as a Fast Food corporation, but in reality, it is responsible for the rise of obesity in children over the last 20 years. In 2004, Yum! Brands held a conference in Singapore called “Top Ten Ways to Market Asian Youths of Today”. This conference was organized due to the fact that children were starting to spend time watching television and society as a whole was starting to be more technology based than ever before. Yum! Brands chose to exploit this fact, and they wanted to market towards children specifically. Their logic was this: Children have 70 years of their life left to live, which can equate to 70 years of being a loyal customer. Since children can learn a lot quicker than adults, it would be easier to spread the idea of fast food through the minds of children. This corporation would corrupt an entire generation just to make more sales.

Corporations like this have taken over the world. They hold the health of the human race at their fingertips, and they are using their power in the worst way possible. Fast Food is an industry that can only be stopped once everyone understands the truth about it. We need to stop funding these corporations, and we need to stop falling for all of their mind tricks. This is the only way to save ourselves.

School Lunches (The Solutions)

Here's your school district's lunch debt policy

Before reading this blog, you should make sure that you have read the previous one. It regards the “Problems” aspect of School Lunches. Think of this blog as a sequel to the previous.

One main problem to address with school lunches is the actual nutritional benefit. Most students choose to leave the healthy options out of their diet. The first step to healthy lunches is to inform all students what they are missing out on. The first step to getting through any roadblock is acceptance, and most children don’t accept that what they are doing is unhealthy.

Schools can also provide healthy lunch options that are interesting to eat. Presentation and taste go hand in hand to create an appealing meal, and if you can’t provide both of these things, then no school can expect the average student to eat healthier.

If schools can combine the two ideas of knowledge and interesting foods, then the future generations will grow up on healthy food, which will give us a healthier world.

School Lunches (The Problems)

Sixteen School Lunch Programs Making a Difference – Food Tank

A high percent of the public school system is infamous for its subpar lunches. The food looks and tastes extremely unappetizing. And even though they have a rule that everyone must take a fruit or a vegetable, the lack of nutrition in these lunches is astounding. As we get into it, please keep in mind that all schools are trying to meet expected standards, but there are some obstacles in the way sometimes. The first crucial point is that children can decline to eat any food they don’t want to eat. This seems like a good idea because you should be able to eat what you want to eat. The problem that arises is some children will probably decline all the healthy options which the school provides, and this is one obstacle that they face. I am not saying that schools should be able to force kids to eat all the food, but schools can take other paths to keep their students healthy and meet all the requirements of the FDA. Another flaw with how schools plan out the lunches is MyPlate. MyPlate is a nutrition guide that contains the five food groups which people should be consuming. The groups are Protein, Grains, Fruits, Vegetables, and Dairy. This format for a school lunch is not effective, as it is hard to follow. Not every kid wants to eat a vegetable, and not every kid can drink a carton of milk with their sandwich. When kids aren’t getting all the nutrition they need from school, only one thing can be held responsible. The MyPlate. In theory, this would work perfectly. And it is still suggested to try and follow MyPlate to your best ability. But in school, this cannot be controlled. In life, there are always inconveniences and roadblocks. But you still need to do the best you can. Remember to stay healthy! Stay tuned for another blog regarding School Lunches, and this time, we are going over solutions.

The Types of Sugars

Sugar Facts - Diabetes Self-Management

When you think of “sugar”, you most likely think of table sugar, which comes in white crystals. But you might be surprised to know that this is just one variety of sugar called sucrose. There are six other types of sugars which are also relatively abundant. All sugars are carbohyrates. A simple sugar is a monosaccharide. Fructose is one of them. Fructose the the sweetener of all fruits, and is known as fruit sugar. It is also found in honey. Next is a very popular sugar, known as glucose. Glucose is a simple sugar that plants can consume. Glucose is special because it is the simplest carbohydrate. After glucose is galactose. Galactose is just about as sweet as glucose, and both of them together form our next sugar, lactose. Lactose is different from all the previous sugars because it is a complex sugar, a disaccharide. Now that we are on the topic of complex sugars, we should circle back to the original sugar mentioned, which is sucrose. Sucrose is a combination of glucose and fructose. After that is maltose, which is when there are two glucose units that are linked. Finally, we have xylose which exists outside of this family tree. Funnily enough, xylose is the sugar found in wood and bark. These sugars have different nutritional benefits and are formed differently. Stay healthy!

The Types of Diets

Traditional Food Around the World: 50 Famous Dishes You Have To Try —  Travlinmad Slow Travel Blog

In the animal kingdom, animals require different supplements and follow different diets. Some animals only eat meat, which is carnivorous. Some animals only eat plants, which is herbivorous. Humans are an omnivorous species, which means they can eat meat and plants. But some people have different dietary requirements. There are a few common diets which humans follow, some being omnivorous, others herbivorous. A plain omnivorous diet can eat all types of meats, plants, and animal products. This is the most common diet which most people follow. If you take away a few things, you get a pescatarian. Pescatarians can only eat fish meat. Some pescatarians also eat white meat, pollo-pescatarians. The general division between a pescatarian and an omnivore is red meat. A step after pescetarianism is vegetarianism, someone who cuts out all meat products. The final step is veganism. The difference between vegetarianism and veganism is animal products. To explain further, animal products are all the items that animals make. This includes eggs, milk, honey, and any food that comes from animal bones. At the end of the day, people need to choose a diet that they think works for them. Remember to eat good food and stay healthy!